Increasing new customer business activity

The Challenge

Skillsoft Corporation was founded in 1998 and since its inception has experienced tremendous growth. This has come from a combination of both organic growth as well as M&A’s. The past couple of years have seen growth taper off for the organization. Sales Representatives have been compensated in such a way that it does not actively promote hunting for New Customer Business.

The challenge at Skillsoft was to help the sales operations group install a sales management system (sales funnels) to assist the organization better manage new customer business without losing sight of existing (base) customers. Studies indicated very little of a Regional Account Representative’s (RAE) time was being spent actively pursuing new business.

The Results

  • The key strategy employed throughout the initiative was to remove lost time from an RAE’s day in order to free up time to generate more new customer business activity.
  • Method changes were identified and installed which removed approximately 27 hours per month per RAE to reallocate to active selling activities.
  • 10% lost time was recaptured through various changes to existing processes and redistributed to the RAE in the form of active selling or relationship building activities to drive new customer business.

Some examples of process changes:

  • Updated the pricing worksheet to automatically calculate upgrades vs. having RAEs manually calculate during negotiations.
  • Streamlined order fulfillment process to remove redundancy in steps – taking RAE out of loop.
  • Modified contract documentation to eliminate duplication of clauses and language in the contract in order to expedite contract review steps with paralegals.
  • Created tool to reconcile CRM and finance for commission payouts to RAEs eliminating time spent at month, quarter, and year end root causing variances.
  • A sales management system was installed to track key operational drivers of Order Intake (OI) for both new and base customer business.
  • Through sales funnels, targets were established for each driver of OI – activity volume, conversion rates, and average value per contract.
  • A tracking system was installed and eventually integrated into Skillsoft’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to facilitate consistency in activity tracking and reporting.
  • A meeting hierarchy was established for management at all levels of the organization, which documents the timing and types of reports that are required to be reviewed each week in order to promote consistency throughout the company.
  • Audits are being facilitated by an internal sustainability manager in conjunction with the senior executives responsible for global regions to ensure the tools are being used and coaching and feedback is provided.

The Client Experience

“Management at all levels of the organization now have the tools available to better manage the business and instill the right behaviors to ensure success. I am confident that with continued focus on our key sales drivers we drive the additional growth we targeted at the onset of the engagement.”
COO, Skillsoft Corporation

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